The AP reports: Tim Duncan scored 22 points, but his defense helped the Spurs avoid another loss in their injury-plagued early season. Duncan blocked Aaron Brooks’ layup with a second left in the Spurs’ 77-75 victory over the Houston Rockets on Friday night… Rookie George Hill, playing in place of the injured Tony Parker at point guard, added 17 points to help San Antonio—down 14 points with 7:37 to go— improve to 3-5. San Antonio also is awaiting the return of Manu Ginobili from an ankle injury… “This was a game we should have won,” said Tracy McGrady said, who struggled through a 2-for-12 shooting night for seven points… Ron Artest led Houston with 18 points. Brooks, playing at point guard in place of the suspended Rafer Alston, had 14.